Open House: John T. Taylor Screening Room


After decades of dreaming, years of planning and 11 months of construction, the historic Tampa Theatre will proudly welcome audiences into the John T. Taylor Screening Room for the first time starting in June.

At 43 seats small, the John T. Taylor Screening Room makes a big promise to filmgoers: a superior movie-watching experience in a uniquely intimate setting. The Taylor Screening Room will host a series of open houses during its first week of operation, which are free and open to the public:

  • 11am – 3pm Monday, June 3
  • 4-6pm Tuesday, June 4
  • 11am – 3pm Wednesday, June 5
  • 4-6pm Thursday, June 6
  • 11am – 3pm Friday, June 7

The first film shown on Tampa Theatre’s second screen will be The Old Oak from legendary British director Ken Loach, so chosen for its themes of bringing people together for a shared experience and the power of a gathering space to help build a community.


“In the early planning for this space, our first step was to hire Boston Light and Sound – the best in the business – to specify the sightlines, the acoustics, and the projection and sound systems,” says Tampa Theatre President and CEO, John Bell. “These are the people that Martin Scorsese called when he wanted his own personal screening room built, so if it’s good enough for Marty, we figured it would be good enough for us.”

According to Bell, this first expansion in the landmark building’s 98-year history will allow a seismic shift in the Theatre’s business operations. “We currently manage to present 700 show times a year in a single space,” he says. “Having this second programming space will give us flexibility like we’ve never had before. We’ll be able to host MORE live shows, concerts, and community events in the historic hall, show MORE of the independent, international, and art-house films Tampa Theatre is known for, support MORE of the local film community’s work, and welcome MORE of our treasured Tampa Theatre guests.”


The new microcinema is named in recognition of a leadership gift from former Theatre board member and philanthropist John T. Taylor. His donation gave the organization the momentum it needed to secure the additional funding needed to build out the new space, primarily from the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissions and the Downtown Tampa CRA Board.